Microsoft Teams

Landis Attendant Console for Receptionists on Microsoft Teams [video]

Posted by Ross Stern on September 26, 2023

Receptionists are often the first point of contact for customers, clients, and partners who call a business or organization. They need to handle incoming calls efficiently, professionally, and courteously, while also performing other tasks such as transferring calls, taking messages, scheduling appointments, and providing information.

Watch a replay of the webinar below, where Ross at Chalkline speaks to Paul from Landis and they look at the features & benefits of the Landis Attendant Console.

Chalkline are proud to be a partner of Landis and we are able to sell & manage Landis' Microsoft Teams solutions. To find out more, please book a meeting and we'll be happy to chat!

 

 

Ross Stern

Right. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining. I'm joined today by Paul Martin from Landis. We've got some pretty cool stuff to show you today. So yeah, really looking forward to it.

 

Paul Martin

Alright, thanks for having me, Ross. Really appreciate it. Yeah, as as you mentioned, I'm with Landis technologies. We are a Microsoft partner and we've also partnered with Chalkline for quite some time. So we really appreciate that partnership. Yeah, we're a Microsoft partner that focuses on developing tools that integrate with Microsoft environments. And obviously right now that means Microsoft Teams. We've been doing this for quite a number of years.

Prior to teams, it was Skype for Business. Prior to that it was Lync back in those days. But yeah, we work closely with Microsoft to develop clean and simple solutions that integrate into a Microsoft Teams environment.

 

Ross Stern

And that's what we're here for, right? So, so as you've said, we've, we've been partners for quite some time now, a few years at least. And I've seen all of this stuff before. It's super cool. And I I wanted to bring you on to this call today so that we can show everybody in both our networks what your teams call attendance software looks like. It's brilliant. You know, we've got clients using it who I know are enjoying it.

 

Paul Martin

Sure.

 

Ross Stern

So yeah, it'd be good to dig deeper into that if we can.

 

Paul Martin

Yeah, absolutely. Happy to give you an overview of the attendant console. This is one of those roles that is often overlooked in the environment because it's sometimes they only have a few of these users, but it's a very and you know from your experience with teams deployment, it's a critical user to make sure they're taken care of. They use the phone system harder than anyone. And if they're not happy with the phone system, sometimes that can affect the rest of the environments attitude towards a new team's deployment. So making sure they have the tools that they need is is really critical.

And it's it's a user that is kinda overlooked by Microsoft too, right? I mean, they obviously Microsoft Teams handles call function well, the calling really works well if you're a user that receives calls throughout the day periodically and needs to transfer a call here and there. Teams call controls work excellent.

This user though that user that reception user that is answering and transferring all day long is the one that really doesn't quite have everything that they're looking for, and they're looking for something that allows them to be a little bit more efficient. So yeah, happy to give you a demo of the attendant console.

 

Paul Martin

First of all, I would just something that I just mentioned. If you're an organisation that is looking at a product like this or you're looking to get started with an antenna console, this is incredibly easy to integrate into your environment there. So literally within a few minutes you can have your organisation set up and your user's starting to take calls using the attendant console.

We're utilising teams calling that you already have in place. We're not adding additional architecture, we're not routing calls out of your environment, everything stays as you have it. Your team's call queues, your users and everything. So it's really simple to get set up and to have your user start using it.

 

Ross Stern

And I and I think that's that's really important as well. So I can see from this screenshot here it looks virtually the same as teams, if not identical. You know just with a few more kind of panels and whatnot. And I and I think yeah, with the the easy simplistic set up and the fact that it looks super similar to what people are used to is is is key.

 

Paul Martin

That's very key. You know, you spent time training someone on a platform like teams. The last thing you want to do is come through a few weeks later and have to train them on yet another platform. So the more it mirrors teams and adds that continuous look and feel to teams, the easier it is for this user to to adapt to it for sure.

All right. Should we take a look at the actual product and and do a little demo?

 

Ross Stern

Let's do it.

 

Paul Martin

Alright, so as I mentioned earlier, this is something that's easy to get set up as a web application or a desktop app. It makes it really accessible if your users have to work from home periodically, or they're changing to a different desk, a different PC they can sign in from anywhere in the world and simply start answering calls. So it's it's really straightforward what you're looking at here is the web application or I'm sorry, the desktop application I have pinned down here on my taskbar.

But yeah, I'm. I'm simply signed in with my Microsoft credentials here. I can see my team's presence. They're they're locked together. So if I change my presence here, it changes in teams and vice versa.

So just to give you a quick walkthrough of this, you notice the number of blank panels here and that's that's normal. This is where our incoming calls will show up. So I'll bring a call in here in just a second and you'll kinda see what that looks like here in the centre of the screen is where you can search your organisation contacts and they load instantly. You can see everyone's team's presence out of office with display here as well. You can see who's available, who's not, and I'll show you in a moment how you can transfer calls to them.

So yeah, it's just really about having everything right close at hand when calls come in and that ease of transferring and finding who you need to transfer to.

So let me bring some calls in and we'll just kinda take a look at what that looks like. So you'll see a call ringing here in the top left hand corner of my screen.

You just activate this.

So there we see a call coming in and again it's all about that ease of transfer. So I'm gonna answer this call and I'm gonna transfer to this user call is transferred and as soon as they pick up, it disappears from my screen. And I know the call is completed. So just a one click answer it transfer it. That's really what this user is looking to do. They're not looking to type names every time. They want their favourites right there in front of them. And it needs to be simple and straightforward. And so minimising clicks, minimising typing all of that as a call comes in and just allowing them to answer and transfer.

Is really key for them now. I go ahead. Go ahead, Ross.

 

Ross Stern

That that's brilliant as well. And sorry, sorry to jump in there. It's one of the most common issues that I see, especially with reception teams or handlers that are receiving multiple calls at any given time is that one Click to transfer straight through would be unbelievable for them. So the fact that this, this, this works that way is really good.

 

Paul Martin

Yeah.

And you know you it varies depending on the user, but some of these reception desks are taking hundreds and some of them between multiple people, thousands of calls per day. When you start to measure the clicks and the mouse movements and the keyboards, keyboard strokes and all that over the course of that many calls, it really adds up and it can really affect the amount of calls they can get to the experience they're offering the customer and so minimising that, you know, really, really starts to pay off in the long run.

I'll just also, while we're talking about the transferring, there's a number of transfer options that this delivers. So obviously there's your basic transfer type scenarios where you're just answering and handing it off, but reception desk often want other types of transfers. So for example, a safe transfer, meaning if I send this to one of my colleagues here, let me pick on this demo user. If I send this to them and they don't answer it, I don't this caller to go to voicemail, maybe it's an important call I.

Want to option to get this call back if that person doesn't answer. So here we see it this transfer failed, meaning they did not pick it up.

But it didn't just go to their voicemail. It allows me to now answer and take a message or ask the caller if they want someone else just a little bit better control over that phone call. There's your consultative situations where we want to transfer a call to someone, but we would like to talk to them first to make sure that they're available to take this call. Just basically give them some heads up that there's a call coming through to them, but we can do that by simply clicking the consult transfer, clicking on the user. It'll put the caller on hold.

While we are calling that contact.

And as soon as this user picks up.

We'll do a consult transfer to that user.

There we go. And now they've picked up the call and now I can fill them in on all the scenarios that this caller, you know, is calling about and when they agreed to take the call, just press that consult, transfer again and it'll then pass that caller right through to the contact and disappear from my screen. And I know that that that call has been handled so really easy to replicate a variety of different call handling scenarios there.

 

Ross Stern

Brilliant.

 

Paul Martin

There's more. There's the ability to do consult transfer. There's the ability to add user to the call. We can send messages, but we won't get too in depth here. The ability to easily answer and transfer calls is baked into the core of this product and that's really what all the functionality is centred around.

 

Ross Stern

Yeah. And remind me if an inbound call comes in, am I correct in thinking that you have the ability to view the individual's diary that you'd like to put the call through to as well?

 

Paul Martin

Yes. Yeah. And that's a that's a key point. So as you're transferring calls, it really makes a difference on, you know, if that user's available. So their team's presence, if they are showing as busy you know, are they busy? Are they in a meeting that's gonna last all day? Are they on the holiday? You know, what does that look like? So down here at the bottom on the contact card, we can see more in depth information for the user, including their calendar. So we can see a snapshot of their calendar. You know, the meetings they have coming up, if they're available.

And we can then easily transfer to that user based on their availability, and if they're not available right here beside it. We also have the org chart or company hierarchy where we can see who their managers are, who their assistants are, who else is in their department. So if this person's not available, let me look at the org chart and find someone that is in that same department that is available.

 

Ross Stern

Very nice.

 

Paul Martin

Yeah. So that's a that's a very, very key point.

The other thing is adding notes for a user, so this is something that receptionist asks about quite a bit, so maybe you have this user that is in your organisation.

That is, does not want calls sent to, you know, only send calls to his voicemail or this guy's off on Fridays. So now we can add these notes here.

Down at the bottom so that as we are taking calls and looking to transfer, we can be reminded of that note for that individual. And so just something to jog our memory that can be embedded right within the contact card there.

There's a lot of other flexible things that you can do. For example, one of the things that receptionists often get asked to do is.

Pass along a notes to and user. So for example I see let's say for example Preston is not in the office right now, the caller doesn't want voicemail, they'll say well, just tell Preston to call me back when he gets in the office. So now your receptionist, you need to jot that down on a sticky note or you're typing it up in a message to the to the end user. There's a button here, we call it callback reminder button.

It will with one click load an e-mail to that contact that is all ready to go. It pulls in the caller ID information from the call that you're connected to here. So with one click I have an e-mail ready to go to Preston. All the information regarding the call itself that is wanting to talk to him even includes a callback link for him to click on when he gets this e-mail to return the call. So it really streamlines that note taking and make sure that that message gets delivered without anything falling through the cracks. So that's something that.

Typically resonates with the reception user because they do end up taking a lot of notes throughout the day.

 

Ross Stern

That's very helpful.

 

Paul Martin

Alright, what else should we point out? There's a number of different things. You know, there's a lot of different ways you can configure your search to pull in your organisation contacts or even third party contacts if you'd like. Transferring to mobile devices, transferring directly to voicemail. Of course you can easily do that. You can set up your favourite groups here to be to match your organisation. So, create different groups for the sales team or the marketing team or any custom list of favourites that you'd like to keep close at hand.

Easily have embedded there within your attendant console and like I mentioned earlier, it's exclusive to you. So even if you're sharing duties with another receptionist when you start your shift, you would sign in and all of your favourites and settings are tied to your profile, so they will be back the way that you left them.

 

Ross Stern

Nice. Yeah. Which is, which is also useful. Because people have different ways of working.

I can see at the top. You have a voicemail button as well.

 

Paul Martin

Yes. Yeah, that's correct. So one of the nice things about the user interface is you can really lay it out the way you'd like it to be. If you want incoming calls to be over here and the contacts to be over here, you can flip it around. You can set it up the way you'd like it. That also includes adding multiple pieces of information to the same window and creating this tab like format like you see here. So that allows you to easily see and retrieve your voicemails here within the.

Within the attendant console, you can click on them, play them back down here at the bottom.

Really easy to do that. You can also list your own shortcut button, so this allows you to create a shortcut button for any action. Let's say for example we transfer calls to service all day long. We take dozens of calls, they go to service. So obviously services in my address book. But I'm going to create a shortcut button for service so I can then assign it a keyboard shortcut. So a call comes in. I could tap the answer key on my keyboard and I could tap the transfer to service key on my keyboard and in a split second I can have that taken care of. That's something I could do without even looking at my screen.

So these shortcut buttons really allow a receptionist to build out their own efficiency. Even you know, outside of organisation contacts that you transfer to. Maybe it's even something like opening a web URL. It doesn't have to just be call transfers, so there's a lot of flexibility that can be found in the keyboard shortcuts there.

 

Ross Stern

Amazing.

 

Paul Martin

And one other thing, I'll just point out call Pop. So you do have the ability to dedicate a panel to integration in the CRM, so.

This may be an option for some reception, as more than others. Sometimes when a call comes in, it helps to see. Does this caller have an account? Who is the Rep that's assigned to this account? You know, some of that information that you may have a customer database where that's stored the the call pop window can help make that connection between the inbound caller and the CRM and display some important information there on screens. So depending on the role of the receptionist and what types of calls they're taking, call pop could be a useful function there.

 

Ross Stern

Nice.

 

Paul Martin

All right, so there's a lot more that we could go into. I mean, there's a lot of flexibility with this product to really dial it into how you want to see it operate. You know your look and feel, the way your organisation contacts display your transfer settings and preferences devices and layout and keyboard shortcuts and all that. So the way I'm showing it here is pretty much exactly how it comes out of box. Of course, you would set your own favourites here. But beyond that, the layout is real similar to how you would see it and then you can customise it and then.

 

Paul Martin

Adjust it to your own organisation settings as you see fit, but the whole point is super easy. Super easy to get started.

And all of those settings are very self-explanatory and right out right out of box for you.

 

Ross Stern

Amazing. And that's been that's been super helpful and hopefully people watching this will see value in it and if you do and you'd like any further demos or discussions please obviously get in touch with myself and we can organise a full more in depth demo as well. So thank you Paul that was that was brilliant.

 

Paul Martin

Absolutely, yeah. Thanks a lot for having me. And like, like you mentioned before, we we also provide a free trial of the product. So if your interest is piqued, by all means get in touch with Ross, get a demo set up and then we can get you set up with a trial to get it integrated into your environment there.

 

Ross Stern

Brilliant. Thank you everyone.

 

Paul Martin

Thanks for having me. Really appreciate it.